Reduce packaging on all products

On a nearly daily basis, I'm sure we all have fought our way through the unnecessary bulky and wasteful packaging of a product we have just bought, whether it be an electronic device, a bottle of mascara or packaging for food.

Companies like Apple have seen the benefits to reducing and improving their package design to better utilize space, reduce weight and materials. All companies should be encouraged to do this, whether its incentives to reduce their packaging or taxation for unnecessary waste. This is one way of reducing the amount of plastics in landfills and our oceans, as well as making transportation costs and storage costs more efficient.

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29 Comments

  • we could leave the packaging at the store after buying the goods.

  • Great point made!Or invest more in alternative like. package materials out of corn or other sources.
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/plastic.html

  • just show & sell the product, not all kinds of ads, pictures, fillers to make it look bigger. DUH

  • Why is always tax them? all the producers do is pass along the tax to the consumer. Implement laws on amount of packaging a product can have. If it ways 1 lb. then 1.1 lb total weight including all gimmicks. 1/2 oz mascara comes in a 3 oz pkg. Obscene

  • I don't think taxation would work, but financial incentives on recyclable alternatives such as paper and card might..

  • I agree with the idea. However, the example of Apple is wrong as this company still forbids replacing used batteries in their phones as far as I am aware, thus forcing people to buy another phone once the battery life has gone permanently.

  • Great idea! Simple, but effective and a good start to making this world a more eco-friendly place to live in.

  • why not legislate, make them go back to all paper packaging--it's endlessly reusable and breaks down in the environment. standard size glass bottles with a deposit for everything that can't go in an aluminium can and a large part of the problem is solved

  • i spend the first 5 min after shopping, unwrapping and throwing away!!! EVERY day

  • We use way to much packaging need to cut down on plastics or eliminate them

  • Please do this.

  • Reduce, please!
    we could leave the packaging at the store after buying the goods. And the rests too!

  • Many times I have had boxes come to my house that are much bigger than the actual product.

  • It's necessary. This insanity must stop!

  • We have been talking about this since the 1960s! People agree, but governments refuse to pass these laws. I just found out that here in Toronto, much of our paper trash is shipped to China, to be re-cycled with the cheapest, least environmentally friendly methods possible. So much for my re-cycling efforts to keep the planet cleaner!

  • Yes, and kids toys are among the worst with the mega blister pak that shows all of the accessories connected to a backing with 10,000 plastic zip ties. The plastic blister pak has no chance for reuse after destroying it to open it. I like how Playmobil does it: Cardboard box with lots of pictures. And the box is still functional after opening it.

    re your mascara example -- it's a small bottle that could easily be stolen, so one way to combat that is with a big package that doesn't fit in a pocket. If I ran a makeup company, I'd go environmentally-friendly in every way possible, and market it too, because that would sell more product. I'm sure that approach would work for many products.

  • @sandyprints -- I like your idea to make the store responsible for disposing the packaging, even though they are not the manufacturer. Most stores require the packaging for returns, so that's a challenge. Also, most people don't want a product from an open package.

  • We need to go back to bulk groceries. Remember the old general stores and asking for items at the counter? Let's take that idea and adapt it to modern life. Use reusable containers at self serve counters or exchange empty containers for full ones. Think back to how milk was packaged and delivered, for example. One left empty glass bottles on doorstep and they were replaced by clean bottles filled with fresh milk.

  • It's really a great point of view.
    I really agree with this. As nowadays there are still a lot of packing that is useless. They use the box pack the product in a size that is far from the contain of the product itself, and this is really lack of efficiency.

  • specially toys' stores, the waste is unbelievable!!

  • Is it true that in some European countries the store is responsible for disposing of product packaging materials? I believe so, as this was related to me by a colleague from Germany who added that, once this regulation was in effect, excessive product packaging practically disappeared. How about trying that out as a solution here in America?

  • Yes, less packaging! This has been frustrating me for years. And those stupid blister packs that you need a blow torch to open! Great idea, I'm in!

  • Most packaging contains food. The good part is that it actually looks cheap and disgusting. We should make a hand full of beautiful designed decorative containers that can be reused. This is very simple: Bread goes in a bread box, butter goes in ceramics, meat can go in stackable containers made out of RVS or marble, vegetables in wood, fruit in bowls. etc etc and it should all look great together.

    Your butcher for example is most likely cutting meat by hand. He then packages it by hand or uses a fancy plastic wrapping machine. Many of these machines will work just fine with a different type of tray. After you eat the meat you return the container to the butcher in exchange for its value.

    It should work just like liquor out of cardboard is not acceptable to most people. In some countries you can already return the bottles and get some money for them. This system works just fine.

    Many places preparing food already have the right equipment to clean the containers. With a bar-code and tracking number any previous owner can found and held responsible for ruining the packaging and potentially endangering peoples health. (It isn't a tray to mix glue on)

    If in stead of returning it you decide to use the containers for other things (other food) their value will be slightly reduced over the years.

    You can also clean it yourself and have it refilled which would allow us to try different designs over time without forcing people to adopt a new type. You can basically keep what looks best with your dishes and curtains etc

    For research I called a few dozen companies to invite them to this customer binding formula and there wasn't a single one who rejected it. It basically adds an extra line of products to their business. There will be a stable amount of containers with the customers that in turn puts a stable amount of money in the cash register. The better they look the fewer will be returned which creates cash flow and profit. Rolls of plastic are not exactly free.

    All it takes is large scale organization which gives us economy of scale.

  • Most packaging contains food. The good part is that it actually looks cheap and disgusting. We should make a hand full of beautiful designed decorative containers that can be reused. This is very simple: Bread goes in a bread box, butter goes in ceramics, meat can go in stackable containers made out of RVS or marble, vegetables in wood, fruit in bowls. etc etc and it should all look great together.

    Your butcher for example is most likely cutting meat by hand. He then packages it by hand or uses a fancy plastic wrapping machine. Many of these machines will work just fine with a different type of tray. After you eat the meat you return the container to the butcher in exchange for its value.

    It should work just like liquor out of cardboard is not acceptable to most people. In some countries you can already return the bottles and get some money for them. This system works just fine.

    Many places preparing food already have the right equipment to clean the containers. With a bar-code and tracking number any previous owner can found and held responsible for ruining the packaging and potentially endangering peoples health. (It isn't a tray to mix glue on)

    If in stead of returning it you decide to use the containers for other things (other food) their value will be slightly reduced over the years.

    You can also clean it yourself and have it refilled which would allow us to try different designs over time without forcing people to adopt a new type. You can basically keep what looks best with your dishes and curtains etc

    For research I called a few dozen companies to invite them to this customer binding formula and there wasn't a single one who rejected it. It basically adds an extra line of products to their business. There will be a stable amount of containers with the customers that in turn puts a stable amount of money in the cash register. The better they look the fewer will be returned which creates cash flow and profit. Rolls of plastic are not exactly free.

    All it takes is large scale organization which gives us economy of scale.

  • Most packaging contains food. The good part is that it actually looks cheap and disgusting. We should make a hand full of beautiful designed decorative containers that can be reused. This is very simple: Bread goes in a bread box, butter goes in ceramics, meat can go in stackable containers made out of RVS or marble, vegetables in wood, fruit in bowls. etc etc and it should all look great together.

    Your butcher for example is most likely cutting meat by hand. He then packages it by hand or uses a fancy plastic wrapping machine. Many of these machines will work just fine with a different type of tray. After you eat the meat you return the container to the butcher in exchange for its value.

    It should work just like liquor out of cardboard is not acceptable to most people. In some countries you can already return the bottles and get some money for them. This system works just fine.

    Many places preparing food already have the right equipment to clean the containers. With a bar-code and tracking number any previous owner can found and held responsible for ruining the packaging and potentially endangering peoples health. (It isn't a tray to mix glue on)

    If in stead of returning it you decide to use the containers for other things (other food) their value will be slightly reduced over the years.

    You can also clean it yourself and have it refilled which would allow us to try different designs over time without forcing people to adopt a new type. You can basically keep what looks best with your dishes and curtains etc

    For research I called a few dozen companies to invite them to this customer binding formula and there wasn't a single one who rejected it. It basically adds an extra line of products to their business. There will be a stable amount of containers with the customers that in turn puts a stable amount of money in the cash register. The better they look the fewer will be returned which creates cash flow and profit. Rolls of plastic are not exactly free.

    All it takes is large scale organization which gives us economy of scale.

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